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HindustanTimes Sat,30 Aug 2014

Delhi maid's employer faces trafficking charge

Faizan Haidar, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, October 04, 2013
First Published: 00:53 IST(4/10/2013) | Last Updated: 11:36 IST(4/10/2013)

The 50-year-old woman arrested for allegedly torturing her domestic help at her Vasant Kunj home is unlikely to get away easily.

The police have pressed charges against Vandana Dhir, an executive of a French multinational corporation, under sections of the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act. They also plan to book her for trafficking under the amended Section 70 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), which may lead to imprisonment for 10 years.

After the December 16 gang rape incident, the IPC was amended to charge those recruiting victims of trafficking under the section.

The police also charged her under sections of the Juvenile Justice Act dealing with cruelty and employing a child. HT had reported on Thursday that using the Act against Dhir could reduce her chances of getting bail.

Brinda Karat, former member of the Rajya Sabha, and a few others met the commissioner of the police on Thursday and asked him to charge Dhir with attempt to murder.

"The commissioner assured us of strict action. The police joint commissioner visited the girl on Thursday, sending out the signal that the force was taking trafficking of children seriously," Rishikant, of the NGO Shakti Vahini, said.

In court on Wednesday, the counsel for Dhir, who is in judicial custody till October 15, had claimed that the teenaged girl was mentally unstable.

Her counsel had pleaded that the girl already had the injury marks on her body since she started working as a domestic help at Dhir's house here and her client was continuously providing the girl with medical treatment for it.

'Aunt' arrested
The police have also arrested a woman, said to be an aunt of the girl. They are trying to find out if she had sold the girl to Dhir. "Dorothy, 45, has been arrested and we are questioning her. She is the one who placed the girl at Dhir's house. She has not yet revealed the name of the placement agency," said a senior police officer who did not want to be named.

Personnel of Jharkhand's anti-trafficking unit who are in the capital have met the girl, and asked her if she had been trafficked to Delhi. "If it is established that girl was trafficked from Jharkhand, another first information report under IPC's Section 370 will be registered in the eastern state," the officer said.


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